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Marina Mahathir blogs about a 250-vehicle convoy from London to Gaza being stuck in Aqaba, Jordan, awaiting Egyptian permission to transit through Egypt to Gaza – several Malaysian vehicles are part of the journey, all overland. Which is odd and dumbfounding

Shipping the goods to Israel or Egypt and flying the volunteers in should be much cheaper. The only conceivable reason why a large convoy of land vehicles is preferable is symbolic. As Marina laments the lack of coverage – the symbolism has failed. It’s a bit like the shipment of aid from Cyprus headed directly to Gaza: public relations seems to be the ultimate goal here. The ship was intercepted and diverted to Ashdod, Israel, bunch of people deported, and crucially, the goods arrived anyway in Gaza.

Contrary to what Marina says, the one million in Gaza may be dealing with food and medicine shortages – but they aren’t starving. But if averting a humanitarian crisis is the main agenda, maximizing resources by resorting to the cheapest option should be the goal – even if there is no symbolic defiance against the Gaza Blockade. For all its worth, Egypt won’t allow transit until Israel clears the cargo for Israel anyway.

The cheap symbolism of it all of extremely apparent with the current situation of the convoy. They’re stuck at Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba – the only way to Egypt is crossing about 3-4km of Israel, or more expensively, ferrying the vehicles across the Red Sea to Taba. At this juncture, the cheaper option is to cross into Eilat, Israel and proceed via Israel to Gaza. The symbolic option is to go through Sinai.

If you donated any money to Viva Palestina or Perdana Global Peace Forum, hoping it would feed and medicate Gazans: this is how your money is spent. Unwisely.

One Comment

  1. Good thing that you croaked not long after. I wonder how Allah SWT will judge you for your deeds while on earth.

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